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Daemon Deception by Mariah Ankenman

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  • As a witch, and one of the smartest scientists around, Celia’s job is to help the Enforcers defeat evil. Her latest task is to decipher the new language of the Kakodaemons. It should be easy, but she finds it nearly impossible with the demanding, frustratingly attractive council head breathing down her neck.

    Euadaemon Damien has been called tough, but he’s tasked with protecting the innocent and war is brewing. He recruits Celia Dahl. Though he needs her brain, he finds much more about the sexy woman appealing.

    As they work together, they find themselves engaged in more than just a working relationship. But even those closest can hide dark deceptions. Celia and Damien discover sacrifices must be made if there is hope for humanity and love.

    Rating: Spicy
    Page Count: 268
    Word Count: 64965
    978-1-5092-1716-8 Paperback
    978-1-5092-1717-5 Digital

    Excerpt

    “How much?”

    “What?”

    “How much blood do you have to sacrifice?”

    “Oh.” At least he didn’t continue arguing with her. “I’m not sure. Every blood curse is different, but not enough to kill me. I’ll be fine. I’ve survived worse.”

    Darn it! Why had she said that? Damien looked surprised by her confession, too. The anger left his face, replaced by shock and suspicion.

    “What do you mean by that?”

    Her lips pressed together. She never told anyone about her past. Even Racine and Bucky had no idea what her life was like before she came to work for the council. She never offered and no one ever asked. How she liked it. If she didn’t talk about it, she didn’t have to remember. Except in her dreams, she couldn’t stop the memories there.

    “Never mind.”

    He took a step forward, crowding her. His large hand cupped the back of her neck, causing a shiver of responsiveness across her skin. His silver gray eyes searched hers.

    “Who hurt you, Celia?”

    She could barely find the breath to answer him. He was too close. Her body sparked with desire, too aware of him as a man.

    “It doesn’t matter. They can’t hurt me anymore.”

    Damien leaned in close until she felt his hot breath on her lips. Her heart pounded so loudly, she was sure he heard it.

    “No one will ever hurt you again. I swear it.”

    A sweet promise, but one she knew he could never keep. He must have sensed the doubt in her because his hold tightened. He moved in closer, so close they pressed together from groin to chest.

    “I will protect you, Celia. I promise.”

    With that vow, his lips descended on hers, claiming, devouring, and yet gentle. He kissed the breath right out of her. Without conscious thought, her hands grasped his shoulders, holding on for the ride. And what a ride it was. She had never been kissed with such fervor, such passion. Tiny sparks of pleasure traveled the length of her body and settled down in the depths. Great gods the man could kiss!

    Her lips opened on a gasp and Damien took full advantage. His tongue swept into her mouth. Helpless to do anything but respond to the physical heat, her own tongue rushed out to meet his. Had anything ever tasted so good? If it had, she couldn’t remember. All she managed to do was welcome the sensations running through her body, the tingling awareness seeping into every pore, the hot, lush feel of Damien’s lips against hers, his tongue battling with her own.

    She gave up on the thought of ever breathing again—hey, who needed air when a sexy Euadaemon gave the kiss of life—when the sound of a throat clearing interrupted them.

    “Ahem. I hate to break up this little…conversation, but I have your supplies waiting for you at the front.”

    Celia pulled herself away from Damien to see Clem standing behind them, a knowing smile on the old man’s face. Warmth rushed to her cheeks and she knew a blush crept up her face. Dear gods did she really kiss Damien in the middle of Clem’s store in broad daylight? She’d never been one for PDA; come to think of it, she had never been one for displays of affection at all. Yet here she was ready to throw Damien down on the ground and take him. What was going on with her?

    “We’ll be right up, Clem,” Damien spoke, with what she thought was far too much calm for the present situation.

    The Witch smiled at them again. Winking at her, he turned and headed for the front of the store. Too embarrassed to face Damien, she dropped her head to avoid his gaze. He didn’t let her hide though. The strong, large hand that had wreaked havoc on her body during that kiss, gently cupped her chin, forcing her to raise her eyes to his.

    “We’re not done with this, Celia.”

    She wasn’t entirely certain what he meant. Done with the discussion about breaking the spell and taking the curse? Done with discussing who hurt her? Or done with the kiss? Honestly, she wasn’t sure she really wanted to know. She simply nodded then turned and followed the path Clem had taken to the front of the store. All the while trying not to run like a frightened little girl.

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Daemon Deception

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